THEO FLEURY: PLAY­ING WITH FIRE

NOW Magazine - Hot Docs - - Hot Docs Film Fest Guide -

(Matt Em­bry, Larry Day, Canada). 91 min­utes. Subti­tled. Rat­ing: Theo Fleury proves a fas­ci­nat­ing but prob­lem­atic sub­ject. Booze and drugs sank the ca­reer of the bril­liant hockey star, who bat­tled ma­jor anger is­sues. He later came out as a sex­ual abuse vic­tim of his coach Gra­ham James, which be­gan to ex­plain his per­sonal dif­fi­cul­ties.

Prob­lem is, Matt Em­bry and Larry Day let Fleury set the doc’s agenda. The film takes a jour­ney to the ma­jor sites in Fleury’s life – his homes, the are­nas where he played, the streets where he scored coke. In­ter­views with fam­ily mem­bers, ex- girl­friends and hockey coaches com­plete the por­trait.

Buried in there is an indictment of the hockey es­tab­lish­ment, but you have to dig for it. And there are way too many shots of Fleury on the high­way.

Re­gard­less, he’s a unique character, hope­lessly con­flicted about his role as a much- pub­li­cized sur­vivor. And by no means has he, as they say in AA, made amends. But he’s a charis­matic character. May 4, 9: 30 pm, TIFF Bell Light­box 1; May 5, 1:15 pm, Is­abel Bader The­atre; May 6, 6: 30 pm, Cum­ber­land 3.

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